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Quotes of the day: Henry Adams
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Published Thursday, March 27, 2014 @ 12:03 AM EDT
Mar 27 2014

Henry Brooks Adams (February 16, 1838 - March 27, 1918) was an American historian and member of the Adams political family, being descended from two U.S. Presidents. His posthumously-published memoirs, The Education of Henry Adams, won the Pulitzer Prize, and went on to be named by The Modern Library as the top English-language nonfiction book of the twentieth century. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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A friend in power is a friend lost.

A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.

All experience is an arch, to build upon.

All State education is a sort of dynamo machine for polarizing the popular mind; for turning and holding its lines of force in the direction supposed to be most effective for State purposes.

American society is a sort of flat, freshwater pond which absorbs silently, without reaction, anything which is thrown into it.

Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit.

During an election campaign the air is full of speeches and vice versa.

History is incoherent and immoral.

It's always the good men who do the most harm in the world.

Knowledge of human nature is the beginning and end of political education.

Modern politics is, at bottom, a struggle not of men but of forces.

Morality is a private and costly luxury.

No man, however strong, can serve ten years as schoolmaster, priest, or Senator, and remain fit for anything else.

Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it accumulates in the form of inert facts.

Only on the edge of the grave can man conclude anything.

Politics, as a practice, whatever its professions, has always been the systematic organization of hatreds.

Power when wielded by abnormal energy is the most serious of facts.

Practical politics consists of ignoring facts.

Simplicity is the most deceitful mistress that ever betrayed man.

Society is immoral and immortal; it can afford to commit any kind of folly, and indulge in any sort of vice; it cannot be killed, and the fragments that survive can always laugh at the dead.

The chief wonder of education is that it does not ruin everybody concerned in it, teachers and taught.

The effect of power and publicity on all men is the aggravation of self, a sort of tumor that ends by killing the victim's sympathies.

There is no such thing as an underestimate of average intelligence.

They know enough who know how to learn.

Those who seek education in the paths of duty are always deceived by the illusion that power in the hands of friends is an advantage to them.

What one knows is, in youth, of little moment; they know enough who know how to learn.


Categories: Henry Adams, Quotes of the day


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